Dating to May 9, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.61) has pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings. He’ll try to keep it going today against Chris Sampson (3-3, 5.91) and the Astros. First pitch is 2:05 ET.
Preview: The Phils can salvage a winning road trip with a victory today, which is hard to believe considering the way they’ve played. Besides Wednesday, they’ve seen several tight, tough contests against less than marquee pitching, suffering back-to-back, one-run losses to Brandon Backe and Brian Moehler. They’re 12-11 this month and haven’t been able to steal as many close ones as they did in April. Houston offered one for the taking last night with bases loaded and one out in the ninth, but the Phils couldn’t convert. The funk continues w/RISP.
The Phils can either lose three in a row and return home 27-25 having lost 4-of-7 on the road, or Hamels can do what he’s been doing lately, and that’s stop a losing streak dead in its tracks. Hamels ranks second in the National League in ERA and third with 65 strikeouts. He’s been dominant lately, holding opponents scoreless with eight hits while striking out 17 in his last two starts.
Meanwhile, the Astros counter with Sampson, a mediocre right-hander, which has become the bane of the Phillies' existence on this trip.
Last night: Brett Myers labored through six innings, and while it wasn’t a terrible start, the struggling right-hander made several fatal mistakes, including leaving one out over the plate for pinch hitter Mark Loretta to drive to center for a go-ahead RBI in the sixth. A lack of location, pitch selection and velocity, and the consistency of those shortcomings, has made the Myers of old fade from view. Nevertheless, combine Myers' outing with Chad Durbin's night, it should have been enough for this lineup to play with.